“Powerful infatuations can be induced by the skillful potioneer, but never yet has anyone managed to create the truly unbreakable, eternal, unconditional attachment that alone can be called Love.”—Hector Dagworth-Granger on love potions, Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Love Potion is misnamed because the potion doesn’t actually produce Love. Infatuation or lust is not Love. They are feelings, albeit very strong feelings, but Love is not a feeling despite what our modern use of the word may insinuate. We cannot Love a pair of pants, or cookies, or even books. We can like certain clothing or food or activities but not Love.
Love is not the ultimate level of liking something or someone. Love is a choice to put another before ourselves irregardless of how we feel about them. Love is not a romantic notion because we can love our families, our friends, our spouses, and our enemies. The problem is we use the word “Love” like is it a synonym for lust or infatuation. Which is why people claim they’ve “fallen out of love” with someone as a reason for ending the relationship. While you can fall out of lust or infatuation with someone—which will happen in any relationship after a period of time—you cannot fall out of love with someone because love is a choice we make, not a feeling. The only way to “fall out” of a choice is to choose to. And, in truth, if we’ve “fallen out of love” it is either because we never truly loved the person (made the choice to put them before ourselves whether we like them or not) or because we’ve chosen to stop loving.
…But, I’m not even sure it is possible, once we’ve chosen in our hearts to love someone, to stop. We can get upset with the person, feel disappointed by them, even be hurt by them. But I’ve never been able to become indifferent (the opposite of love) to someone once I’ve made the decision to love them.
If they hurt, I hurt. If they need help, I’ll do all I can to help. If they cry, I cry. I may not see them often or even speak to them, but if they come to me and ask for help—and I can help them—I will, even if I don’t like them or they’ve hurt me or they are doing things I don’t agree with.
The really hard part of all of this? God calls us not only to Love Him, but to Love our neighbor as ourselves. Meaning we are to Love Him and all those He brings into or around our lives. And that means choosing to Love a lot of people it would be easier to feel indifferent toward.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
God’s greatest desire is for us to Love Him, but he also knows that there can be no Love without choice (a lesson Voldemort’s mom has to learn the hard way). Rather than slipping us Love Potion or forcing us to choose Him, He simply pours out His Love on us and lets us decide if we choose to Love Him back or not.
No one can be forced into Love and that is why there can never be a potion or any power that creates true Love.